Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

For the Record
November 2009

Sophie “Supi” Quequesah Mays
RONAN — Sophie “Supi” Quequesah Mays, 56, went to be with our ancestors on November 30, 2009. Supi was a very shy person who loved her people and dedicated her life to teaching the Salish language. She started out her educational journey in working her first job as a secretary for our Salish Kootenai College president Dr. Joseph McDonald, which led her down the path as a Salish Language Professor throughout the Flathead Indian Reservation and beyond. Supi was an awesome instructor, full of life and love when teaching the language.

Supi also worked at Nkwusm - the Salish Language Immersion School and also enjoyed fishing, beading, picking apples, softball, riding horses, fighting fires as well as spending time with her family and friends

She is survived by husband David Eugene Mays; son Lawrence (Lonnie), and their children Kristina and Lawrence Jr.; son Nick and his children Karlee Jo and Brandee Rhea; daughter Pam (Alfred Woodcock) and their children Lomah and Sophia; son Doug (Amanda) and their children Courtney and Justin; son Dan (Evelyn Charlo) and their child Payton; brother Alec (Betty) Quequesah and his children Tom (Linda Ferris) and their children J.C. of Spokane, Washington, Maii, Siliye, Susseli, Ignace and Atwen; Charlie (Sonia) and their children Joanie, Keithetta and Michael; and Jerome Quequesah and his children Justice, Aspen.

Preceding Supi in death are her parents Ignace and Anastasia (Finley) Quequesah; brothers and sisters, Susan, John, Mose, Mike, Mary Sue, Martina, Teresa, Pete, Joe, Louie, Tom, Nick and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Mass was held in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission with burial following in the Ronan Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Nkwusm Salish Language Immersion School.

Christina B. Diaz
ST. IGNATIUS — Surrounded by her family and friends, Christina B. “Babe” Diaz, 27, passed away Sunday, November 15 at the Kalispell Regional Hospital from injuries received in an accidental fall.

Tina was born April 11, 1982 in Palm Springs, CA. She was raised by her grandmother Beverly Diaz in Pala, CA and went to school at Bonsall Middle School, Fallbrook High, Ronan High and received her GED in Livingston.

She married Jesse Brown, who preceded her in death, and then Torrey Morigeau.

She loved to Jet Ski, watch football and cook. She was one who couldn’t live without her satellite TV - her favorite shows were American Idol, Cops and Trauma. Her children were the most important of all. Even though she was the manager and cook at Robin’s Early Bird Market, she was a wonderful, dedicated and loving mother and her children were her first priority.

She was also preceded in death by a brother Dakota Diaz.

She is survived by her grandparents Beverly Diaz and Arthur W. Diaz, Sr.; father David Diaz, Sr.; brother David Diaz, Jr.; aunts Frances Diaz Cummings and Dariene Marie Tona; uncle Dennis Diaz, Sr., all of Palm Springs, CA; mother Willow Wynn Little Diaz of Hot Springs; husband Torrey Morigeau; children Dakota, Destiny and Heaven and stepson Shaydon; mother and father-in-law Robin and C. Douglas Morigeau; brothers-in-laws Chris, Brandon and Tyler Morigeau and sister in law Sarah Morigeau, all of the St. Ignatius area; as well as many great uncles and aunts, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends whom she loved dearly.

She was laid to rest in Jane Augustine Patencio Cemetery near Palm Springs, CA.

Desiree Paullynn Wheeler
ST. IGNATIUS — Desiree Paullynn Wheeler, newborn, was made an angel on Sunday, November 22, 2009 when she was born prematurely at St. Luke’s Community Hospital in Ronan.

She was greeted in Heaven by her sister Lesha Wheeler, her uncle Paul Wheeler and grandfather Bill Wheeler.

She was the daughter of Donna Cook and Shane Wheeler; she is also survived by her brother Marvin; sisters Jessica and Julianne; grandparents Judy (Terry) Wallaser, all of St. Ignatius; and Claudia and Roger Cook of Missoula.

The family is planning a service to be held next summer and will announce the time prior to the service.

Foster Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Larry E. Pitts
RONAN — Larry E. Pitts, 52, of Polson, went to be with Jesus on Monday, November 9, 2009 at St. Luke Community Hospital and was surrounded by his loving family.

Larry was born on September 29, 1957 in Missoula and was the son of Eugene and Faye Oehrling Pitts of Dixon. Larry grew up in Dixon and graduated from Dixon High School as the class Valedictorian in 1975. He then attended the University of Montana and the East-West College of Massage Therapy in Portland, OR. He was also an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

In 1979, Larry married Ginger Olson and they lived in Missoula, Portland, and then later moved back to the Mission Valley at which time he opened a massage practice in Polson, “Massage for Health”.

At age 12, Larry was diagnosed with diabetes and in 1991 received a kidney transplant in which his sister, KoLynn, gladly donated hers. Health was important to Larry and that same year, he went to work for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Health Department as a community health representative. He enjoyed this position as it allowed him to go into people’s homes to coach them in healthier living. Larry eventually became a fitness specialist at the Ronan and St. Ignatius Tribal Health fitness facilities. He hosted the PBS TV program, “Good Medicine” for many years and loved working with the media crew at SKC. It was another good outlet to broadcast his zany personality. He was also an enthusiastic member of the Mission Valley Power board, building wonderful relationships with other board members.

Larry attended the CMA Church in Polson and gave his life to the Lord there in 1989. He loved playing the congos with the CMA worship team, and for the past six years at the New Life Christian Center. From a young age Larry enjoyed sports and became an MOA official for basketball while he was in college. He also refereed NCAA Women’s College Basketball. Always athletic, he excelled at multiple sports with the proud support of his parents. He passed on his enthusiasm for sports to his children and loved both coaching, and watching his children compete. Other parents will attest to the fact that Larry loved bragging about his kids, and was quick to work them into his conversations.

Larry loved people and people loved Larry. He was a friend to everyone and was always ready to listen and encourage all who came to him. Friends knew that they could call him at any time, day or night, and reach a listening ear and loving advice. He adored this community, and poured his life out for his native brothers and sisters.

A beloved husband, father, son, brother, and friend, Larry was not easily overlooked and his presence lit up a room. His constant encouragement and selfless love for others has impacted the lives of many. He lived a life of integrity in his walk with the Lord, and his actions corresponded with his passionate convictions. Larry claimed that Philippians 4:13 was his life-verse, and he knew that in Christ’s strength he could do absolutely anything. Though always small in stature, his native brothers affectionately referred to him as “little big-man”. He possessed a fun and crazy sense of humor, which shone through his life, despite the circumstances.

Survivors include his loving wife, Ginger Pitts of Polson; daughter, Whitney Pitts of Polson and Spokane, WA; son, Taylor Pitts of Polson; parents Gene and Faye Pitts of Dixon; two sisters, Lettie (John) Neuman of Missoula, and KoLynn (Paul) Sinclair of Yakima, WA; two brothers, Garry (Christine) Pitts of Polson, and Terry (Crystal) Pitts of Dixon; five sisters-in-law, Carolyn Cole of Polson, Linda (Kendall) Dupuis of Polson, Amy (Dan) Toelke of Ronan, Bonnie (Dan) Horton of Bellevue, WA, and Melody (Bob) Thiel of Polson; a brother-in-law, Matt (Chiko) Olson of Helena; mother-in-law, Lou (Jim) Duford of Polson; and a host of nieces and nephews.

A memorial service were held on Saturday, November 14 at the Linderman Gymnasium in Polson with Pastor Shawn Madsen officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations in Larry’s name to Youth With a Mission (YWAM) - New Wave, at 40972 Farm Rd., Polson, MT 59860.

The family would like to thank Dr. Meg Eddy, Dr. Ed. Vizcarra, and Dr. Paul Gochis, as well as the wonderful staff at St. Luke Community Hospital for their loving and attentive care. He considered all of you to be friends.

Messages of condolence may be expressed to the family online at www.groganfuneralhome.com. The Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory, Polson is honored to assist Larry’s family.